Tech for the People’s Holiday Gift Guide 2020
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Tech for the People’s Holiday Gift Guide 2020

With the holiday season in full swing, you might still be looking for the perfect gifts for that special someone in your life. Tech for the People has put together a list of helpful products and services that will…

They might not all be sexy, but they show you care!

A Password Manager

The most fundamental thing anyone can do to improve their online security is using good password hygiene. Using long passwords that are different on every site is all well and good, but it becomes impossible to remember them after a while. That’s where a password manager comes in: You remember one really strong Master Password and let the password manager handle the rest.

Recommendation: I’ve been using 1Password for many, many years. While it’s not free, it’s super easy to use, works on all your devices and browsers, and their support is amazing.

Sign up for a personal or family plan at 1password.com

Runner Up: A password book!

No, this isn’t a joke. They’re not for everyone, but if a password manager is too complicated or technical, a password book might be a great option! It’s certainly better than sticky notes under the keyboard, or using the same password everywhere.

USB Condoms

Plugging your phone in to random USB ports to charge is dangerous, no matter who you are. Especially if you have an older phone, a hijacked USB port – maybe at a cafe or airport – could steal data from your phone without you even knowing! USB ports provide both power and data. Emergency Mode can help with this, but if you’re trying to use your phone while it’s charging, grab a USB condom (or USB shield) instead. These little devices will turn off all the data transfer, and only let your device charge.

Recommendation: Grab a PortaPow Data Blocker. They’re pretty cheap on Amazon and come in bulk packs, so they’ll make great stocking stuffers!

The Super Nerd Version: The USBKill Shield does even more than the PortaPow. It looks pretty geeky, but features a light that will warn you that the USB port you’re plugging into is going to try to send too much power to your device – potentially breaking it permanently.

VPN Subscription

If you’ve ever had to use a public WiFi network, like at a cafe or a free municipal connection, you probably didn’t have to put a password in. While the situation has gotten better now that most websites use a secure connection, this can end up being a huge security risk! A malicious person or device on the network can still try to monitor all your traffic. A VPN helps protect your browsing and email in these cases.

Recommendation: Private Internet Access is a pretty good VPN that claims to not keep any logs of your browsing. There are also others – if you have specific privacy concerns, check out various privacy policies.

Sign up for a PIA account here.
Note: This is a referral link. If you sign up, we’ll both get 30 days free!

Other Ideas

Webcam Covers

Make sure no one on that Zoom sees you until you’re ready for them — get a cover for your webcam that slides back and forth. There are a ton of neat options on Etsy; I don’t have a specific recommendation.

USB Backup Drives

Losing your data is awful – imagine having to get info from all your contacts, never being able to recreate those cute cat photos or selfies, or having to do your school work all over! Pick up a couple USB sticks and send them to a friend to help them keep their data safe and secure. The best backup strategy is to keep a copy somewhere outside your home, so make arrangements to trade off drives with your friend every so often!

Tech for the People Cybersecurity Training

Online security (or cybersecurity) should concern everyone – everyday people, businesses, community organizations, political activists – anyone who uses the Internet. Tech for the People Cybersecurity Training is designed to help you understand the various risks you face and mitigate them.

We all have different security needs, so the planning for every session begins with me getting an understanding of what threats you might face through an easy, non-technical phone or email conversation. You might need more of a focus on how to use a password manager and make sure your passwords haven’t leaked, or which messaging apps to use – and which to avoid. Or you want to understand how to keep your hardware itself secure.

Learn more and get in touch here.